A former Brisbane Bronco has been resentenced over drug charges because he needed to have his probation order removed to play football overseas.
A former Brisbane Bronco has been resentenced over drug charges because he needed to have his probation order removed to play football overseas.

Drug dealer resentenced in bid to earn $600k footy contract

EXCLUSIVE 

EX-BRONCO Izaia Perese has a probation order for drug charges removed by a court to allow him to travel overseas and take up a lucrative $600,000 contract with a top French rugby team.

The former Queensland Reds rising star in March pleaded guilty to supplying a dangerous MDMA and cocaine in September 2019.

He was also caught with the painkiller Tramadol when police searched his Albany Creek home in February, the Brisbane District Court has been told.

Izaia Perese at Brisbane Broncos training at Red Hill. Picture: Peter Wallis.
Izaia Perese at Brisbane Broncos training at Red Hill. Picture: Peter Wallis.

Judge Allen sentenced him to an 18-month probation order and 100 hours of community service.

But after already completing his hours of community service, Perese on Monday made an application to the court to revoke the probation order, seeking to be resentenced for the offences.

The court heard Perese had obtained a two-year contract with French rugby Top 14 team Bayonne, which he would not be able to take up while subject to the order.

Izaia Perese attending the Brisbane District Court in March with his lawyer Dave Garratt. Picture: Steve Pohlner.
Izaia Perese attending the Brisbane District Court in March with his lawyer Dave Garratt. Picture: Steve Pohlner.

In a letter tendered to the court, Perese's manager Damien McGregor-Lowndes detailed the two-year contract worth $600,000 was "significantly larger than anything he could ever expect to earn in Australian sport, even prior to the serious charges and COVID-19 pandemic".

"The club is aware of the serious charges Izaia has pleaded guilty (to) and importantly want to help him continue building a better life balance and becoming the example he so desperately wants to become for his daughter," he said.

Perese at Brisbane Bronco's presentation night with Isabella Armstrong in October 2019 Picture: AAP Image/David Clark.
Perese at Brisbane Bronco's presentation night with Isabella Armstrong in October 2019 Picture: AAP Image/David Clark.

"Izaia is committed to continuing his bible studies in France whilst he will also be studying both the French language and culture".

In a letter from the football club, a representative from Bayonne said Perese's French visa would require him to have no criminal convictions and the probation order removed.

They said he was aware of Perese's offending but believed he had shown remorse and was keen to move forward with his sporting career.

Perese with his lawyer Howden Saggers partner Dave Garratt outside the Brisbane Court Complex on the day of his sentence in March. Picture: Steve Pohlner.
Perese with his lawyer Howden Saggers partner Dave Garratt outside the Brisbane Court Complex on the day of his sentence in March. Picture: Steve Pohlner.

Judge Allen on Monday resentenced Izaia Jay Ali Perese, giving him a $5,000 fine after taking into consideration he had completed all his community service hours two months after being sentenced with Meals on Wheels.

The probation order was revoked.

Perese's lawyer Dave Garratt declined to comment.

Originally published as Ex-Bronco resentenced in bid to earn $600K overseas contract